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CD Review

Nicolai Yakovlevich Myaskovsky

  • Symphony #27, Op. 85
  • Cello Concerto, Op. 66
Alexander Ivashkin, cello
Russian State Symphony Orchestra/Valeri Polyansky
Chandos CHAN10025 67m DDD
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It is interesting to observe that the slick partnership of Polyansky and the RSSO have now turned their hand to the late romantic Myaskovsky who has already seen nine volumes of his symphonic music issued on Olympia.

The 27th symphony is a beautiful work, full of heroic implications and some fantastic perorations that are particularly impressive in the final Presto which is boisterous without being too decadent. The composer managed to combine arch romantic elements into the Stalinist conceptions of his era; dying in 1950 he could not be called as a post-Stalinist, obviously his large output of symphonies created accusations of mass production. Polyansky's version is quite unimpeachable and extremely well recorded and I would declare that this interpretation can now be a confident first choice all around.

Ivashkin's mellifluously prepared, sombrely structured interpretation of the Cello Concerto is also very well structured and quite romantically played, although I do not really prefer it to Rostropovitch's outstanding version that remains hors conceurs in this seminal work, having recently experienced it in a very good Concert Classics LP recording. However, if you wish to begin experimenting with off the fringe Russian repertoire, this disc would be one of the best possible ways to start that voyage.

Copyright © 2002, Gerald Fenech